Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • Napier, John. Laird of Merchiston. 1550-1617. Scottish mathematician who invented logarithms and introduced the use of the decimal point in writing numbers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A Scottish occupational surname for someone who sold table linen, or was in charge of the linen of a great house.
  • proper n. John Napier, Scottish mathematician etc
  • proper n. A male given name transferred from the surname.
  • proper n. Any of several cities and towns, but especially Napier, New Zealand.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. Scottish mathematician who invented logarithms; introduced the use of the decimal point in writing numbers (1550-1617)

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  • It is hard to get away 'clean handed'?!

    May 22, 2012

  • "Napier used his rooster to determine which of his servants had been stealing from his home. He would shut the suspects one at a time in a room with the bird, telling them to stroke it. The rooster would then tell Napier which of them was guilty. Actually, what would happen is that he would secretly coat the rooster with soot. Servants who were innocent would have no qualms about stroking it but the guilty one would only pretend he had, and when Napier examined their hands, the one with the clean hands was guilty.

    Another occasion which may have contributed to his reputation as a sorcerer involved a neighbour whose pigeons were found to be eating Napier's grain. Napier warned him that he intended to keep any pigeons found on his property. The next day, it is said, Napier was witnessed surrounded by unusually passive pigeons which he was scooping up and putting in a sack. The previous night he had soaked some peas in brandy, and then sown them. Come morning, the pigeons had gobbled them up, rendering themselves incapable of flight."

    --http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=John_Napier&oldid=492990103

    May 21, 2012